Letters

WEASEL PATROL

Re: David Young's "Small, Fuzzy Justice" (The County, Sept. 10): Legalization of ferrets may only cause death, sadness and broken hearts to those who love their little fuzzy critters. I own two ferrets that I have had for three years. I obtained both out-of-state and brought them home with me. As with most ferret owners here in California, I had to go out of my way to obtain these two hyperactive fur balls. Most people don't realize the amount of energy ferrets possess. Unlike kittens, ferrets remain playful and frisky most of their lives.

If ferrets were to become legal in California, they would become the next "cool" thing to have. Just as dalmatians were the hot craze after Disney's movie 101 Dalmatians hit the silver screen, ferrets would instantly be sought after. Presumably, ferrets would then end up in the pounds, streets and your back yard.

People who own ferrets realize what it takes to care for them. If ferrets were to become legal, many people would carelessly get a ferret because it seems to be a "neat" pet, ultimately harming the ferret. Who would ferret legalization benefit? Is it any wonder that Marshall Farms has spent so much time and money in litigation against the California Department of Fish and Game's anti-ferret stance? Is it for the ferret or the buck?

--Name withheld at author's request Garden Grove

POWER OUTAGE

COOL! I loved your "Orange County's Least Powerful People" issue (Feature, Sept. 3). What a cool twist on something that has been done ad nauseum the other way. The only thing I didn't like was that you listed the Log Cabin Club guy. Don't blame him for working with the pigs that shit on gay people. He's trying to make a difference from the inside, and, quite frankly, it's very admirable.

--David Heitz Belmont Shore

Your publication doesn't call people for comment, leaves errors uncorrected, and belittles readers who try to set the record straight. You signaled your cavalier attitude toward journalistic standards in November 1996, when you trumpeted deliberate fabrications by one of your reporters in a cover article.

In "Orange County's Least Powerful People," you attack me for inconsequential editorial writing, but you haven't the intellectual honesty to report that our page was honored this year for a massive piece citing chapter and verse the failings of county planning over a decade.

You say it took us nearly two years to editorialize against Bob Dornan's congressional effort to retain his seat. But it was clear when I wrote correcting you on Dornan editorials back in 1997 that we had urged him to get a life several months--not years, as you say--after Loretta Sanchez took office. Also, in April 1997, we said that the House should wrap up its inquiry. You apparently don't read your own files.

You ridicule us for a quotation in an editorial that you say appeared on June 3, 1994, about getting along. We once did a short editorial quoting Rodney King, but the local editorial we ran on June 3, 1994, was about something else entirely. It was a strong endorsement of a grand jury finding that the county should deal with its jail-overcrowding problem.

In addition to such recklessness with the facts, your article maliciously leads readers to think that supporting observations in our editorials are in fact the main point. For example, you took a line urging better planning from a piece on Knott's Berry Farm but didn't say what the editorial was about. It was a denunciation of an ill-advised 5-cent promotion that led to rioting.

Reasonable readers would conclude from the above that you deliberately have held my work and me up in a false light. It is beyond me why your parent company would indulge you in your continued abuse of our First Amendment privileges. At a time when the press is working conscientiously to shore up credibility, we have met the enemy, and it is the likes of you.

--Stephen D. Burgard Editorial Page Editor

Los Angeles Times, Orange County Edition

Please substitute the following for the third paragraph in my letter to you of Sept. 3, beginning, "You say it took us nearly two years to editorialize," etc. This change covers any reading of the sentence on Dornan-Sanchez in your Sept. 3 article about me.

The new paragraph should read: "You criticize us for the timing of editorials on former congressman Robert Dornan, but fail to inform your readers that in May 1992, we strongly endorsed his opponent, Judge Judith Ryan, and that in early 1997, we urged an end to the House inquiry of the 1996 election. We had two opportunities to consider Loretta Sanchez's candidacy, first in 1996 and again last year, when we endorsed her. Our readers knew on Oct. 20, 1996, why we did not endorse her the first time: we expressed reservations about her association into the primary with a Democratic contributor convicted of swindling."

Pick up fourth paragraph, "You ridicule us for a quotation," etc.

Since I have voice mail from you asking me to call you late this morning to discuss my letter, I expect that this change can be made in a timely fashion before publication.

--Stephen D. Burgard Editorial Page Editor
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